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Natural Born Killers

Starring: Juliette Lewis, Woody Harrelson, Tommy Lee Jones, Tom Sizemore and Robert Downey Jr
Directed By: Oliver Stone

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Bluntly speaking? Since the whole country has gone re-release crazy- Blood Simple, Spinal Tap etc.- I thought I'd review one of my all time favorites from 1994, Natural Born Killers- a rental. NBK is a Natural Born Classic! Way ahead of it's time even by today's take-no-prisoners- styles, NBK mixes surrealism with an underlying social message- "stop the glorification of killers & press aint pristine!" I'm not going to lecture, suffice to say, everywhere you look we are bombarded with violence and immoral gobbily gop.

Director Oliver Stone took his masterpiece right into the MPAA's forbidden zone. Hopefully you'll see this is an odd form of cinematic art he's created, and not as ultraviolent mishmosh.I thought it was a big ole slap in the face at where we, as a society, are heading - in fact, where we may sadly, already be.

Story goes... Mallory and Mickey Knox ( Juliette Lewis and Woody Harrelson) are painting the town red! Literally. They've shot their way through several towns, on a bloody killing spree-just for the heck of it. Both suffered through horrendous childhoods and are decidedly a product of this violence. Together they make society their own, sort of, personal therapy session/ purging zone. They're "mental" bulimic psychopaths, and society is their trough.

The media then glorifies the killers and they become over night pop icons. Not so far fetched...Amy Fisher, Manson, Bundy to name a few have created a "celebrity" of sorts, complete with their own bubblegum cards!

Eventually mass murderers Mallory and Mickey are caught, imprisoned, and separated.

Then a blood thirsty ego maniacal shock journalist ala Geraldo Rivera named Wayne Gayle (a gloriously kinetic pre-rehab Robert Downey Jr) gets the dizzy warden, Dwight McClusky (a hysterical bumkin by Tommy Lee Jones) at Mallory and Mickey's coed prison to agree to an interview with charmer, Mickey.

Yeah, that's a smart idea...But, remember, they did it with sicko Chuck Manson in real life. What brilliant lessons on/of life (irony) will Mickey have for his viewing public? Ah, well...you'll just have to rent it to see.

The performances are mind blowing. Juliette Lewis is magical and terrifying as disturbed Mallory Wilson Knox.

Woody Harrelson, who is not usually my favorite guy, was born to play this part. Forget his laid back sweet guy facade, he's ubercreepy as the revved up psycho with a dark past, Mickey. Did I mention he's actually studly in this? I never noticed his manly-man physique before... I want to saute him up and smother him in me! Yummy!

Another guy, Tom "Plus" Sizemore is thrown into the mental pot. He's a character actor with leading man talent. I really don't have to tell you Tommy Lee Jones was brilliant do I? Tee hee. Man, he'd make a good real life white trash guy from lower Texas with a pension for porn, I just knows it.

Stone extracts superior performances from all involved. These actor's are the creme of the Hollywood crop to begin with but with his apparent whip and chain, boot camp filming (done in 54 days)style, each seemed to really "get into" their roles-which in itself is disturbing.

Don't miss this and it's brilliance on so many different levels; film making, acting, directing, editing, soundtrack and of course the whole twisted backbone of the thing- Quentin Tarantino's script.

Snack Recommendation: Nothin' or you'll be spewin' !

 



 

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